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Lexicon-Go Review

We have been enjoying playing Lexicon-Go the past few weeks. If you haven’t seen it then it’s a word game where you start with ten letter tiles each and then have a pile to swap one from. Everyone creates a word either using their tiles or swapping one of the tiles from the swap pile, (you have to shout SWAP as you do it) or by attacking another players word by either adding to it or swapping a letter. You can’t actually change the order of the letters but you can add it new ones or add an ending, so adding ‘er’ or ‘ing’ can work well for this, but if you swap letters out you need to take the letter out from the ones you have swapped back into your pile so it counts as part of your score.

 

If you manage to get rid of all your letters first then you shout LEX-GO and win that round if all your words are correct. The first player to win 5 rounds in total is the winner. There is a longer version of the game you can also play where  at the end of each round the other players add their score on the leftover tiles together, if it is over 100 then they are out straight away and the others carry on until only one person who is left and then the last person left in is the winner but we have been playing the quick Lexicon-Go version as that works really well for us.

We like that Lexicon-Go is a fast and noisy game, we liked shouting out and racing each other. We have enjoyed that it doesn’t take ages and ages to play and that it makes you think. Sometimes it is the luck of which letters you get to start with but mostly it’s about how quickly you can see what you have and think about how or where you can use it. This game also makes you think about how words work and the best way to change them and make them into something else.

I liked the tiles as they seem like they will last well, we did think the instructions seemed quite complicated to start with but we soon got into it once we started playing and it made much more sense as we were going along. Because it is a word game you need to be quite good at spelling and coming up with ideas so I would say it is probably best for children age 8 plus but it does help you learn so children age 6 plus would also enjoy it against children of the same age.

It’s a good game because it is very portable- it’s quite a small case and all zips away nicely and we have taken it with us to play on our trip to the Isle of Wight and our stay in France. It’s good because you don’t need to take lots of extra things with you to be able to play- although if you are like us you might need a dictionary to avoid arguments about whether the random letters someone tried to put down are real words!

 

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Lottie Loves… Rubik’s Junior Animals

By Lottie age 6 with help from Mum!

My big brother, Luke, has a Rubik’s cube, it’s really hard to do and I get very cross with it when I can’t make the colours match up- although I do like to mess it up when he has been trying to do it!

I have been having lots of fun playing with the new John Adams Rubik’s Junior toys. They are all shaped like animals and are really cute! They are the same bright colours as the cubes but they are just right for younger children to play with.  You just twist them up to make it as difficult as possible and then you solve the puzzle and get the animal back to it’s normal shape.

We were sent one of each of the toys from the John Adams Rubik’s Junior range– a bunny, a puppy, a kitten and a bear. They were all really sweet and my little brother Sam decided he would really like the blue puppy (well it was all blue until we twisted it!). I picked the bunny and we decided to give the bear and the kitten to my best friend and her little sister.

It’s National Pet Month so while we have just been enjoying playing with our Rubik’s pets, my friend and her sister have been showing theirs off to their lovely dog, Poppy. They have been enjoying cuddling up with Poppy while they solve the puzzle, it’s a great toy to sit and play with when everyone else is busy and you want something fun to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have all loved playing with our Rubik’s Junior toys– they are really hard to put down and I have shown mine to lots of other friends who all had fun solving the puzzle. It is much less frustrating for children my age than trying to do a cube but it is still interesting enough to keep you busy. My little brother is very nearly three and he loves playing with his puppy version, it’s a bit tricky for him if we twist it too much but he has lots of fun twisting and turning it and just playing with it in his games, I think he will be able to do it really well soon. I think the Rubik’s Junior toys are perfect for children between about 4 and 9, although Luke keeps taking it to play with too and he is 10!

We are very excited to be able to give away one of these fantastic Rubik’s Junior pets to two lucky winners worth £9.99 each thanks to John Adams and Playtime PR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note prizes will be sent out directly within 28 days of the winners providing us their delivery address.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Rubik’s Juniors range in exchange for a review but all thoughts and opinions remain our own.

Please be aware this post contains affiliate links, if you choose to purchase through this this would enable Luke and Lottie to earn a small amount of commission at no additional cost to yourself.

 

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If I were Headteacher for the day!

If I were Head Teacher for the day I would give each child £50 to buy something fun for the playground or to use in the classroom during wet play. Lunchtimes this week have been really boring at school in the snow storm because all my class can do during wet play is draw on scrap paper so I think we need some games and stuff.

I would let children wear whatever they liked for uniform as long as it was easy to run around in.

School wouldn’t start until 10am so we didn’t have to rush around in the morning and before the lessons started we would have a basketball match- children v’s teachers.

For lessons the children could vote on whatever they wanted to learn about, we would have interesting books like Tim Peake’s ones and be able to watch YouTube videos about different topics.

I would have the lunch menu as burger and chips or sausage, chips and beans and for pudding there would be a choice of donuts, éclairs, pasties, cake, pancakes, ice cream, chocolate mousse and apple crumble.

In the afternoon the children would start their project. It would be making a film and George Lucas would come to help us.

After school it would be a cinema evening watching Star Wars.

I think my friends would like it if I was Head Teacher for the day!

 

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An Out of This World Birthday Party!

Lottie and her friends have been learning about Space at school and so when one of her friends invited her to a Space Party at The National Space Centre in Leicester she was beyond excited, she went last week and had an amazing time. She decided to write about it herself.

Lottie, age 6, reviews her visit to The Space Centre in Leicester

I went to my friend’s party at the National Space Centre and it was brilliant. There was about 10 children for his party altogether and we got to look round in a big group.

We saw lots of astronaut things and a space toilet. We had fun making weather. We followed where the buses and planes were in Leicester using satellites. We tried making sound waves which was funny.

Shouting to make sound waves

 

My little brother came with us and he really liked driving the Rover that is used to collect samples. We both thought the replica space station was brilliant, but that the astronauts shower was very tiny!

 

We had lots of fun looking round with our friends and then we went to the party room where there was space table cloths and lots of balloons to play with and a sign up to wish my friend Happy Birthday. We had really yummy chocolate milkshakes and hot dogs with chips. My friend’s Mum had got him a rocket cake which was brilliant.

We then went to the planetarium and watched a film about how the world started. This was one of my favourite bits. I really liked it, it felt just like you were flying through space.

My really very favourite part though was when we went up the tower and saw a real rocket.

I want to go back to the Space Centre soon, I know Luke would really like it too.

A Note from my Mum.

I hadn’t realised you could have parties at the Space Centre and this was one children’s party I was actually keen to go to!

The party itself was brilliant, so interesting and so much to see and do but the centre was incredibly busy and this made it quite stressful for the parents at times. I struggled with a toddler who wanted to be running off and looking at everything and keeping track of older children so I would recommend the Space Centre as being best suited to children over 5 if you are outnumbered!

We were lucky that we could eat our lunch in the party room as people were queuing for a long time to get access to the restaurant so this would be a consideration if you were visiting as a family.

Parking was fine, with an overflow car park that we got into easily at a cost of £3 for the whole day and the gift shop had a good selection of reasonably priced souvenirs as well as some more expensive educational toy options.

Other than being so very busy the Space Centre is really interesting for both adults and kids and well worth a visit and this certainly was one of the best children’s parties I have been too!

 

 

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My Favourite Things- Lottie age 6

Luke wrote out all his favourite things the other day and now he has asked me all the same questions. Here are my answers:

My favourite film-

Frozen

My Favourite Food-

Sausage and Chips

My Favourite Television Programme-

Barbie and Miraculous

My Favourite Board Game-

Monopoly Junior and Scrabble Junior

Favourite Author-

Roald Dahl

My Favourite book-

Charlotte’s Web and anything by Roald Dahl especially the poems

My Favourite computer game-

Disney Infinity

My Favourite Chocolate-

Creme Egg

My Favourite Sport-

Dance

Favourite collectible

Shopkins and Zomlings

I wonder what I will chose for the answers next year?

By Lottie age 6, help from Luke

 

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Family Game Night- Quick thinking with Think Words

We have been enjoying our family games nights again the last few weekends and last week tried out Think Words by John Adams.

This game is aimed at age 8 plus but we all had lots of fun playing it together and whilst Lottie needed a few more seconds she didn’t find it too difficult most of the time.

In the Think Words box is 80 cards and a spinner with all the instructions you need. You get  a choice of 7 different versions to play so this can keep you busy for ages! Each card has a large letter on one side and four different coloured categories on the other. We started off with the straightforward game of putting 8 letter cards around the spinner and taking turns to spin it, the first person got the colour and everyone had to try and think of a word for that letter from the colour category that it matched- if you were the first one to shout it out then you got to win that letter, at the end of the game the person who had the most letters was the winner.

We liked the fact there were so many different ways to play and that you could also make your own rules as well. Lottie did find a few of the categories a bit hard but I think the age rating of 8 is about right.

Think Words is a good game to take away with you too as it packs up small, we took it to our friends at Christmas which was fun- we liked that you could play it just as well with 2 players as you could 8- although it turns out it is perhaps best not to make up your own rules with 8 people as it can lead to arguments! Even with a bit of bickering this the game was really funny especially when you were trying desperately to think of an answer really quickly.

The only little slightly bad thing we found with this game is that it doesn’t store very well in the box (it’s got a cut out bit to display the cards) and we had to find a different little box to store it in nothing too bad but worth being aware of so you don’t loose your cards!

I am looking forward to playing with some other friends after school next week- although I will steer clear of making up my own rules so we are all still friends at the end of it!

Family Fever

Disclaimer: We were sent the Think Words Game to review but all thoughts are our own, you can keep up with the latest from John Adams Ideal Games by following their Facebook page here

 

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Family Game Night- Fun with Telestrations

Now that Christmas is over we have started up our family games night again on a Saturday evening, We make sure we have plenty of snacks and drinks ready and get set up for a fun night. The other week we played Telestrations by John Adams for the first time. I had seen the adverts for it and thought it looked fun so was excited to give it a go. Initially the instructions seemed a little bit complicated but we soon got to grips with it and were drawing our pictures and passing our books on over and over again and it was actually really easy.

Telestrations is for age 8 plus so we added a bit of extra time for Lottie to do her drawings because she is younger and we let her pick the colour topic for the drawings as some were a bit complicated for her to understand but otherwise just got on with it.

 

You pick a colour on the card and everyone writes that word on the first page of their book (they have already put their name in it) and then you set the timer and begin drawing the word. When the timer rings you pass your book to the next player whether you have finished drawing or not. They then get a certain time to try and guess what they think you have drawn. They write their best guess on the next page before passing it on to the next player. The book then gets passed to the next player who reads the guess and draws what they see that guess as before their time runs out. Finally you pass it back to the original player who gets to see what the last drawing is and what people have guessed their original artwork to be. This is where it gets really funny- some of the guesses are no where near the original drawing- it’s a bit like playing a drawing version of the game where you whisper and see what the person at the end of the circle hears and it is even funnier.

You then rub out the drawings and start all over again with a new card. I like the way it is all reusable and you can play over and over again without wasting loads of paper.

I don’t think you have to be good at drawing to play this game. In fact it’s funnier if you are not. I think this will be a brilliant game to play after a family dinner and is good to play with lots of people. It’s a great game because people of all ages can play it together and everyone is able to join in equally so it’s a real family game.

We are excited to be able to give away a game of Telestrations to one lucky family- we are sure you will enjoy it as much as us so to get you started we are asking you to us the link below to tweet us using the hashtag #telestrationsontwitter your guess as to what my drawing below is!

You can keep up to date with all the latest information from IDEAL Games by following their Facebook page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Making a list and checking it Twice…Santa Claus is Coming to Wyevale!

We were lucky enough to be invited to go to Wyevale Garden Centre at Bicester Avenue and have afternoon tea with Father Christmas and so we headed over there the other weekend.

When we arrived at Wyevale we felt very festive because they had a brilliant wintery display of polar bears in the entrance and lots of decorations around and about. We weren’t sure where we needed to go but within a couple of seconds of looking at the signs an elf came over and asked if he could help us and took us straight through to the right place. There were lots of other families having afternoon tea at the same time but it was a big room and it didn’t feel too full. The decorations made it seem very Christmassy and each child’s place had a ginger man with some treats to decorate it with and everyone had a Christmas cracker to pull.

Once we had pulled our Christmas crackers and explained to my little brother that he didn’t need to put the cracker on his head and actually the hat was inside it our food soon arrived.

We had requested our choices beforehand so these were all ready with hardly any waiting  but they were still nice and hot and freshly cooked. Lottie and our brother had both chosen sausages, chips and peas and I had chicken nuggets, chips and peas. Mine was really nice but I wished I had chosen the sausages because I had a piece of Lottie’s and it was LOVELY!

My Mum and Dad had the Afternoon Tea and that looked really nice. They had little sandwiches, lemon mousse, scones with jam and cream, macaroons and some yummy cakes- we helped them eat some of it as there was plenty to go round!

The reindeer had his eye on the scones!

 

The sausages were delicious!

 

Once we had eaten our meals there was some time to decorate our ginger men and the ‘Elves’ came round and chatted to us- they were really good as Lottie and Sam found them very funny when they were playing around and joking with us.

All the children then got up and sang some songs and did actions which my little brother absolutely loved, especially because there were bells to ring as well.

It was soon time for Santa to arrive and each family got to go up to the grotto in turn and chat to him. We were the last ones but it wasn’t too long a wait, my brother is two and he had only just started to get impatient when it was our turn so that can’t have been too bad- we think it helped there was colouring and plenty to look at in the room.

We had our chat with Santa and he was very jolly- Lottie is convinced he was the ‘real’ Santa because he looked so good and had proper glasses! We thought that my brother might be scared but he was very happy and asked ‘Father Christmas Nee Naw please’ which was very sweet.

After we had seen Father Christmas we were allowed to go and choose one of the toys to take home. The Elves told us they were testing some toys they were making at the North Pole and we could try one- Lottie loved that idea and she was very happy to choose a pony toy. Sam picked a racing car and he wanted me to have one of those too so we have one in blue and one in red! There was a great selection of toys to choose from.

We had a really nice time at the Wyevale Garden CentreTea with Santa, it was a good afternoon for all the family and we all enjoyed ourselves. We think this is one of the nicest ways to visit Santa and make a fun outing out of it- perfect if you have children of different ages as there was lots the younger ones enjoyed and nice treats for the older children too.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were invited for Afternoon Tea at Wyevale Bicester Avenue in exchange for our review- all thoughts and opinions are our own

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Presents Under a Palm Tree!

I love having Christmas at home, we buy our tree, visit a Santa, see lots of friends and eat lots of food but I have always wondered what it would be like having Christmas abroad and I do think I would like to try it one year, I bet it would be brilliant. Imagine it being hot enough to go on the beach on Christmas Day!

The people at Destination2 have asked what we think Christmas abroad might be like, we had lots of fun imagining what we might expect. I would love to go to Ras Al Khaimah which is one of the seven Emirates in the UAE. My Mum went there before I was born and she has always wanted to go back for a holiday with us.

We think that Christmas would be the perfect time to go, it would be much warmer than here but it wouldn’t be too hot that you couldn’t do lots of things. I think we would be able to buy all the presents we need easily- they have a huge shopping mall which would be a good place to start and then we could visit the souk and try out our bargaining techniques to get a good deal on the rest.

I have been reading about Ras Al Khaimah and I think that would make Christmas a great time to visit, it sounds like it would be a really nice atmosphere. You could visit one of the Churches if you wanted to or you could go to the tree lighting or carol services put on at many of the hotels.

If you go at the right time you could even pop across to Abu Dhabi for Winterfest and see all the excitement going on there- I think that might be a bit like going to Winter Wonderland with Ice Skating and shows and rides.

I wonder what it would be like with so much sand at Christmas? I can’t imagine going in the sea on Christmas Day but perhaps we could build a sandman instead of a snowman! We could use shells for the buttons and eyes and seaweed for his scarf!

Lottie and I think that Santa’s reindeer might not be used to the heat so perhaps they get a rest when he gets there and he lets the camels take over pulling the sleigh. I wonder if one can do it all on their own or if he would need a whole lot of them- my Mum went to a camel farm and she said it was a bit smelly but I suppose Santa might be used to that with his reindeer!

Father Christmas dashing over the palm trees with his red nose camel!

 

We would really like it if the Palm Trees were all decorated with tinsel, lights and baubles and if the presents were left underneath them!

I don’t know what food they would eat in Ras Al Khaimah for Christmas dinner, I know you can get all sorts of things like you do in the UK but I would love to imagine it was a huge feast with a long table full of delicious foods and that it would last a really long time with lots of yummy desserts.

I know exactly what present I would like if I visited Ras Al Khaimah for Christmas- I would LOVE to go on one of the desert safaris in an open top jeep, it looks amazing. My Mum said it was brilliant and terrifying at the same time. I would send her on a camel ride which she has done twice before and said ‘never again’ about!!

I think it would be great fun to go abroad for Christmas and would love to do that one year. We had lots of fun looking at the Destination2 website  and imaging where we would choose!

Lottie wanted me to draw her a palm tree to decorate!

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post written for Destination2

 

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Lottie’s Christmas Recommendations- Gift ideas for 6 year olds!

Luke and I have been writing down ideas of things we think children our age will love. These are my ideas for 6 year olds, I think they all look brilliant and I hope Father Christmas might bring me one of them!

Sylvannian Families Starry Point Lighthouse– This looks like so much fun. I like that it lights up and projects on your bedroom ceiling.

Jakks toys Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker– I think this looks yummy!

Aquabeads Disney Princess Set– I love my Aquabeads sets and think other 6 year olds will too

Vtech Secret Safe Diary– This looks really good, I like the idea of a secret password

 

Hatchimals Surprise– I think Hatchimals are really cute!

 

Lottie Dolls – I love my Muddy Puddles Lottie doll and would love another one, She has a great name! I REALLY like the idea of the tent too!

LEGO Friends Snow Ski Resort Ice Rink – I like playing with LEGO and like trying to build it when Luke doesn’t try and do it all for me!

Luvabella Doll– Luke says she is creepy but I like the Luvabella doll, I like that she talks to you and I really like the idea of scaring my brother with her!

Silver Cross Pioneer 5 in 1 Dolls Pram– This looks beautiful, I would love to push my babies around in one of these. I think they would be lovely and cosy!

 

Rainbow Heart Care Bear- I love these! My Mummy always wanted a Care Bear when she was little so she could always share it with me!

I hope that gives you lots of ideas! Luke has a list for bigger children and we are doing one for our little brother too so you can look at those if you want some more ideas.

Lottie x